Pradeep Pattanayak

BJP and BJD workers came face to face at Khordha Collector’s office during the filing of nominations by BJP’s Aparajita Sarangi and BJD’s Manmath Routray for the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat on Thursday, leaving the police deployed at the spot at their wit’s end. 

As the two leaders of arch-rival parties were filing nominations inside the Collector’s office, their respective supporters and party workers outside the office were seen crossing swords. 

After reaching the Collector’s office, the supporters of both parties resorted to sloganeering. While the BJD supporters were blowing conches, the BJP supporters were waving flags with the lotus symbol. The atmosphere reverberated with ‘Jay Jagannath’ and ‘Jay Sri Ram’ slogans. 

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Soon the situation snowballed out of control with the workers coming to near-confrontation. 

“Aparajita Sarangi will come out with flying colours and Modi government will be formed. Double lotus will definitely bloom,” said a female BJP worker. 

A BJD worker said, “Naveen Patnaik will become the Chief Minister and Manmath Routray will emerge winner with a huge margin.”

Seeing the situation going out of control, two DSPs were called in. Later, the SP too reached the spot. But the workers of both parties seemed to be in no mood to listen to the cops, who had a harrowing time managing the scene. 

While the face-off lasted for around two hours, there were some 15 to 20 policemen at the Collector’s office. 

“If there had been more policemen, the situation could have been managed efficiently,” alleged a BJP worker. 

Khordha SP Abinash Kumar said, “We were prepared to tackle the situation. They (BJP and BJD workers) tried their best to maintain distance between them.”

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